Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2013 Year In Review

Dear Past, Thank you for all the lessons....Dear Future, I am ready!

Last year I ended my year review post with "I know that this year has a lot of hard days to come..."

We made it...another year. A year we knew was going to be a rough one, but each day the sun came up and each night the sun went down. Even though we would've liked the world to stop for awhile, it didn't, and we made it through the year.
Let's review shall we...

The bitterly cold month of January brought us many obstacles. The best part of the month was having our niece Danielle home. It amazed me to see how much she had grown up. She came up quite a bit to visit and had a blast playing in the snow with the kids.



















Danielle has been living out of state for the past couple of years. Darric's sister's husband, Gary, is in the Navy and they've lived in Italy and Florida. Gary retired this year and the family has picked Maine for their final resting spot. They landed back to their home state in February.

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For Darric's mom's birthday we decided we would redo her mud room while she was away for the weekend. As Darric started taring the room apart he discovered mold in the doorway and the project became a lot harder and took a lot longer than originally planned.

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In March we took our annual vacation up to Island Falls. We use this vacation to get our last bit of snowmobiling in for the year. This was actually the first time we were on the sleds this year due to lack of snow in our area. It was a very bitter sweet week for all of us. Vacationland Estates is one of our favorite places, but being there without Richard was heavy on our hearts. It was really hard going snowmobiling without him. Every time I looked in my rearview mirror and didn't see him there, it brought tears to my eyes. Snowmobiling will never be the same.

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Deb's annual easter egg hunt was a little low key this year, given the circumstances, but having Gary, Lisa and Kiersten there gave us the opportunity to capture some memories all the same.







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One thing that kept us going was keeping busy. We kept busy by getting the kids involved in extra curricular activities. Jordan took some Karate classes and Gracie did Gymnastics.
Jordan caught on quick in Karate, but he got board quick with all the repetitiveness.
I was a little nervous with Grace doing Gymnastics with her broken arm freshly healed, but the instructors seemed to think it was OK. She loved gymnastics and I think it helped her to be more independent.
The best part was the Gymnastic's show at the end of the season. She loved being up on that stage.
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Of coarse I did my 2nd Avon Walk and you can read about that here.

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I chartered a Deep Sea Fishing trip for Darric for Father's day that was wicked awesome and you can read about that here.

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Jordan really got into baseball this year. A lot different going from T-ball to Farm League. He had lots of practices and games during the week and Darric even got involved by pitching at some of the games. Jordan did really good and loved being the catcher. When he was out in the field he was literally out in left field, if you know what I mean.
Having family members come watch him play also gave him lots of encouragement.
His team made it to the playoffs and his team....became the league champions.

























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In July Darric's cousin Chris and family came to visit for 3 weeks. They are all from the south so trying to get them to experience as much as Maine as possible brought many adventures. One of their first nights we treated them to lobsters.

I was the most excited that they were here for Gracie's 4th birthday party as well as my friend Kim, so Grace had both of her Godparents there.

Grace had a wonderful 4th birthday party. The theme was Doc McStuffin and you can read about her party here.

When the 'Southerners' said they had never been camping before we knew that was a must. Sitting by the fire, cooking outside, tubing, swimming in the lake at sunset, fireworks, fishing. I think they enjoyed most of the camping experience....all except for the shower houses, right Tammie.







We took them to the Skowhegan drive-in to see Monster's University and had a blast.



I was bound and determined to show them a moose while visiting. So, one day while Darric was working the rest of us crammed into my trailblazer and headed for the golden road. My plan was to go from Greenville to Millinocket and back. A couple of them almost shit their pants after the first logging truck passed us doing 70mph. We made it to Abol bridge with not a sign of Moose.

I figured we'd go to the famous painted rock and turn around and head back, giving us more of a chance to see moose. I kept talking about this famous rock that people come to see all the time while visiting Maine. I shared the stories of riding to it on snowmobiles and passing it on the way to the mountain. We arrived and their exact words... "That's it! We have rocks like that in the south, what's the big deal."
No Moose...not impressed with our rock...I wasn't having good luck.

Then on our way back through Greenville guess what we saw...
We watched this baby calf for a good 15 minutes. Everybody was amazed, especially Braeden. He wanted to take it home with him.
Then as we passed the salt plant we saw a whole bunch of cars pulled over looking. And whattya know, another one.
Everyone was so excited and I wasn't feeling so disappointed anymore.
The next day we decided to try our luck at seeing a Whale. We all crammed into my trailblazer again and headed for Bar Harbor. The last time I was on a boat similar to the boat they use to take people out whale watching I was sick as a dog, so you could say I was not looking forward to this excursion.
It was a foggy day so we were going to stay in the cabin, but when someone said people are more apt to get sick inside we decided to go up on the deck and freeze. I wrapped Grace under my jacket and we sat still the whole way out. She got quiet and was white as a ghost so I grabbed some puke bags to keep handy and they got used soon after. She fell asleep and I just sat still to keep my stomach at ease. Jordan had gone back in the cabin with Peyton, Chris & Braeden. Then the boat stopped to look at some Whales and Peyton brought Jordan back to me stating that he had just puked. FUN!!
Grace stayed asleep, Jordan felt better and was able to get some videos on my phone of the many whales that everyone was seeing. We later found out that while Chris & Braeden were inside Braeden puked all over Chris and then fell asleep and Chris couldn't move and all he was wearing was a tank top.
It was cold, foggy, and something I will never get talked into again.

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We ended their vacation by taking them to Boston. They wanted to go to New York, but when we told them how long of a drive it was from Maine, they decided Boston would do. I think they were satisfied with Beantown.



We got weekend tickets for the Super Duck Tours which I highly recommend. Great way to see and hear about the city. With many stops that you can get off, then every 15 minutes another bus comes around and you can get back on. The drivers were informational and humorous. And part of the tour included the water version of the city.







We took the Amtrak Downeaster to Boston out of Wells and then back to Wells and stayed in a beach house for a couple of nights.
 The day before we had to take them to their plane in Portland we took them to Wells beach.
It was a great vacation with The Blanchards, we made many memories with them, even if some of the memories included puke and we were very sad to see them go.

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Jordan turned 8 years old and had a Despicable Me birthday party a local bounce house, you can read about it here.

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My aunt Leigh came up to visit in August and we had a great Goody family reunion at Alamoosook lake in Orland. It brought back many memories of going there as a child.



 Grammy gathered some old pictures, it was nice to reminisce.

And it was also nice to have my mother's brother's and sister's all together that I couldn't resist taking group pictures. Although I had a hard time getting them to cooperate.

Now you all can see why I am so crazy.

At least we got everyone to cooperate for the big group photo. I just won't tell you that a couple of the goobers in the back were being foolish.

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As I've said before we try to make it a tradition to take a summer vacation just us as a family. This year again we picked New Hampshire. Every year we go to New Hampshire we always say one of these years we should stay at the Red Jacket Inn. This year we did.






Fire with marshmellows every night, hay rides, activities for the kids and oh I can't forget...they have an inside water park with giant waterslides, a wave pool, and tons more. We had so much fun and will probably be back.

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One thing Darric has always wanted to do was Bear Hunt. He was fortunate enough to work on a guys boat who was a bear guide and he worked out a trade deal with him. He stayed at a place not too far from the house and had a great time. He said they provided great food, had nice cozy room and the other guys were nice and on his last day...he got his bear.
Weighing in at 188lbs he was one happy man.
On New Year's Eve when I asked what was everyone's highlight of their year Darric said it was his bear hunt. He said he had wished his dad could've been there with him and I told him oh he was.

So, there you have it. Some of the better moments of 2013. I'll be honest, it has been one of the roughest years to date. I went through some tough things this past year and it's taught me a lot about my self, about marriage, about family and about life. I knew it was going to be a rough one, but some things that happened I could have never imagined would happen or prepare myself for them. But as I said, we got through. The sun came up every morning and went down every night. I'm going to continue to focus on my kids to help get me through because I do know that someday they will grow up and our life won't be as crazy busy and I'll miss it.